I'm also a big fan of "CSI." As far as I'm concerned, they could keep
spinning off into new locations until they run out of songs by The
Who, and I'd be happy!
Tastes vary, of course, and I cannot guarantee that your taste and
mine will coincide exactly. I have prepared a list of ten television
shows that I think a CSI fan would be likely to enjoy. Since you're
using Netflix, I am listing only shows that are available on DVD, and
I've included a link to the Netflix page for each show.
1. Quincy, M.E.
Thirty years ago, the series "Quincy, M.E." ventured into territory
that was later explored by CSI and other forensic-investigation shows.
"Quincy, M.E." is a bit dated (especially in scientific and technical
areas), but it is still quite enjoyable. Jack Klugman's portrayal of
the title character, a medical examiner who solves mysteries, was
quirky and charming, and the show's scripts were smart and clever.
Netflix: Quincy, M.E.
2. Cold Case
"Cold Case" involves a female police detective in Philadelphia. Her
specialty is "cold case" murders, crimes that have gone unsolved for
years. The show has vivid and memorable characters, intriguing
mysteries, and some of the best performances on television. Don't
confuse this with the "Cold Case" documentary series; this show is
fiction, but very believable fiction.
Netflix: Cold Case
3. House, M.D.
"House" is an unusual show, since its "hero" is a rather unlikeable,
irascible, sometimes outright unpleasant person. He's Dr. Gregory
House, who (with his team of specialists) investigates medical
mysteries in a hospital setting. Like "CSI," this show features many
in-depth simulations of the interior workings of the human body. The
camera will seem to zoom through a wound and into a blood vessel, or
follow the electrical impulses of neurons, and other amazing close-up
voyages within the patient. Unlike "CSI," most of the patients are
alive, and Dr. House, despite his attitude problems, is determined
that they should continue to be alive. This show isn't to everyone's
taste, but I love it, and you might, too.
Netflix: House, M.D.
4. Law & Order
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Law & Order: Criminal Intent
Law & Order: Trial by Jury
I am grouping these shows together, but each really has its own
"flavor." My favorite of the four is L&O:SVU ("Law & Order: Special
Victims Unit"), but all of these series are watchable and gripping.
They combine police investigations and courtroom proceedings, showing
you the progress of a case as it moves through the justice system.
Some of the best performances I've ever seen on TV have been on
various L&O episodes. Both the regular cast members and the guest
stars are almost always first-rate, and the plotlines are often dark
Netflix: Law & Order
"Bones" is about a forensic anthropologist, Dr. Temperance Brennan,
who assists in the investigation of murders by examining skeletal
remains. In addition to suspense and drama, this show also has a fair
amount of light-hearted banter and romantic chemistry between the
attractive (but socially naive) Dr. Brennan and a sometimes-cynical
lawman with whom she is often teamed.
"NUMB3RS" takes a very different angle on the investigation of crimes.
Math and statistics are called into play in fascinating ways. Instead
of doing autopsies on bodies, the show's resident genius uses
innovative methods of mathematical analysis to solve mysteries. This
may sound more erudite than it really is. Although "NUMB3RS" is an
intelligently-written show, you definitely don't need to be a math
whiz to enjoy it.
"NCIS" (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) has been described as
"CSI joins the Navy." It is a fast-moving, well performed series that
involves the investigation of crimes related to the military service.
A great ensemble cast, a wide variety of cases, and many plot elements
related to issues of our time. All this, and the coolest forensic
investigator on television: Pauley Perrette as Abby Sciuto.
8. Without a Trace
"Without a Trace" is about a team of New York City FBI agents who
investigate missing persons cases. This show used to come on right
after the original Las Vegas "CSI," and almost everyone I know who
likes the CSI franchise also likes "Without a Trace." This show is
characterized by intricate and realistic plots, interesting
interactions among the FBI agents, and occasional unhappy endings.
Netflix: Without a Trace
"Medium" is a very different kind of show from the others I've
mentioned. It is about the investigation of crimes, but instead of
scientific, psychological, or mathematical tools, the protagonist uses
supernatural insights. To put it simply, she sees dead people, and
they talk to her. Regardless of whether or not you believe such things
to be possible, "Medium" is a very well-done series, with a stunning
portrayal by Patricia Arquette of the lead character, based on a
At first, "Profiler" might sound a lot like "Medium." It is about an
FBI agent who has the ability to "see" crimes as if she is looking
through the eyes of both the victim and the perp. Despite the
supernatural-sounding premise, this is more of a psychological
thriller, and although the unusual mental ability to recapture other
people's experiences is never explained, it is not handled in a
spooky, X-files manner most of the time -- not that I mind spooky
X-files stuff, but that's another subject...
You asked specifically about "The Sopranos" and "Lost," and those are
two of my favorite shows. I definitely recommend them. Be sure to
start at the beginning, since each of these shows has an intricate,
episodic plot. "The Sopranos" has a lot of rough language, so you
might want to make sure that children are elsewhere when you watch it.
Otherwise, you may have the problem of learning that Little Johnny has
been sent home from school for calling the principal a name that
rhymes with "brother trucker." ;-)
Thanks for an enjoyable question. I hope this is helpful. If anything
is unclear or incomplete, or if you'd like more information about a
certain show, please request clarification; I'll be glad to offer
further assistance before you rate my answer.